our team

Relate2Color is a Christian, diversity consulting agency based in St. Louis, Missouri. Established in 2013, we provide diversity training, ministry planning, strategic planning, itinerant preaching, keynote speakers, coaching and more.  We're also available for leadership retreats and conferences.  
Years ago, Aaron recognized that many churches and Christian organizations needed diversity education and training. After working for several years as a Director of Diversity at a Christian school, Aaron founded Relate2Color. 
 
He has been happily married to his wife, Gretchen, for 22 years, and they have two teenage children. Along with his love for college football, Aaron loves coffee, a good book, and great conversation.

Education

  • BA in Psychology - Southeast Missouri State University

  • MDIV - Covenant Theological Seminary

  • 2008 Robert G. Rayburn Homiletics Award (CTS)

  • MAE - Lindenwood University (pending)

  • NAIS Diversity Institute

Experience

  • Interact (foreign exchange student club) 1984-89

  • African American Achievement task force McCluer North HS 1996-97

  • Peace Curriculum facilitator  Ferguson Florissant School District  1998-2004

  • Covenant Theological Seminary forums on race and culture

  • Diversity Director Westminster Christian Academy 2009-present

  • Diversity Committee Chair Westminster Christian Academy 2012-2014

  • Presenter 2012 People of Color Conference

  • Presenter 2014 Presbyterian Churches of America General Assembly

  • Presenter 2017 Presbyterian Churches of America General Assembly

  • Chair of the 2017 CSASL MS Diversity Leadership Conference Committee

  • Chair of the 2018 CSASL Imago Dei Leadership Conference

Aaron J. Layton, M.Div.Founder and CEO

Damion Jones, Ph.D., SPHRConsultant/Facilitator

Damion is the Global Director of Inclusion & Diversity for Monsanto Company within their Talent Acquisition / Diversity and Inclusion / Compliance / Contingent Workforce Department.  He is responsible for outlining the company's inclusion strategy and recommending actions regarding company culture and operations.  He consults with various functions and regions regarding the acquisition, development and retention of diverse talent globally, as well as supplier diversity.  In recent years, he has led strategic initiatives regarding the diversity dashboard design, mentoring and unconscious bias training for Monsanto leaders world-wide.  Currently, Damion leads the company's global ERG strategy which includes oversight for 29 Business Resource Networks across 6 geographies.

 

Outside of Monsanto, Damion also provides guest lectures and webinars on topics of inclusion, psychology and leadership within corporate, educational and civic institutions.  In response to the Ferguson Commission's recommendations to aid the socioeconomic stability for Black businesses within the St. Louis metropolitan area, the Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce was established, and Damion was asked to sit as a founding board member.  He also serves on the board of the Biome, a Youth Learning Center STEAM charter school that utilizes Carol Dweck’s work on “growth mindset” to instruct students in underserved communities.

Please click here and complete a brief survey to hear Damion's career advice on how to respond to "I don't see color in the workplace."

 

Damion and his wife, Marvis, have three children.

Christan PeronaConsultant/Facilitator

A Christian speaker and writer, Christan teaches others to live Gospel-infused lives. She is passionate about race, culture, justice and mercy, and she strives to challenge others to join God in redeeming what’s broken – beginning with self-examination and moving outward to our communities.

 

Christan brings a background in social work, along with 25 years of lay ministry experience, to Relate2Color. She has worked on diversity initiatives at her church and her children’s school and strives to help steward diversity, promote cultural responsiveness, and encourage justice through a Gospel-driven lens. 

 

She is the Director of Admissions and Communications at Central Christian School, a racially and socioeconomically diverse school. She is married to JD, and they have two teenage children. 

Dave SchallConsultant/Facilitator

Dave brings over twenty years' educational experience to Relate2Color, having served as a teacher, coach, and school administrator. While most of his career in education was spent at Westminster Christian Academy, he began teaching and coaching at McCluer North High School in 1997 where he first met Relate 2 Color founder, Aaron Layton. Being a white male in a school comprised of mostly African-American students, Dave became interested in diversity awareness and racial reconciliation.

 

In 2008, Dave and Aaron were reunited as colleagues again, this time at Westminster, and worked together to educate faculty, staff, students, and families on how to have a safe conversations regarding issues of race, color, religion, and politics -- all from a Biblical perspective.

 

Dave now serves as the St. Charles Area Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). He is married to Stephanie, his wife of 15 years, and they have a 12-year old daughter and a 10-year old son.

Lauren SimpsonConsultant/Facilitator

Since 2007, Lauren has been teaching English and endeavoring to educate herself, her students, and her community about issues of race and culture in America. She began her teaching career in the Clayton School District (Clayton, Missouri)  and then joined the Westminster Christian Academy faculty in 2014. 

 

At Westminster, she worked with students to start United Neighbors in Today's Youth (U.N.I.T.Y. Club), the first-ever club focused on issues of diversity at the school.  Then, alongside Aaron Layton, Lauren wrote curriculum for a new history course called Race and Culture, which they teach together each year. In addition to teaching, Lauren has served on the Westminster Minority Outreach Council since 2014. She is also actively involved each year in the CSASL Imago Dei Leadership Conference, WCA Black History Month celebrations, and student trips to Memphis to explore America's racial history and culture. 

 

For many years, Lauren and her husband have also felt called to transracial adoption. In December 2017, the Lord confirmed this calling through the miraculous, whirlwind adoption of their son, who is African American. The call to racial reconciliation has deepened now in an incredibly personal way as she and her husband raise their son and endeavor to teach him how the Lord created him -- and all people of the earth -- beautifully and intentionally in the skin they're in.

Greginald SummersConsultant/Facilitator

Greginald has a heart and passion for diversity and comes to Relate2Color with years of corporate diversity experience. He is a 39-year employee of Ameren Missouri, which provides gas and electric service to more than 500 communities in the greater St. Louis area.  

 

Greginald was selected by Ameren, along with a team of company employees, to serve as a Diversity Facilitator. He was later appointed to the Sioux Plant Diversity Steering Committee, where he served as the team captain. In 2010, he joined Ameren’s Diversity Newsletter Committee and eventually became a Diversity Ambassador for Ameren.  To no one's surprise, Greginald received the 2010 Thomas R. Voss Diversity Excellence Award.  He brings numerous years of corporate diversity experience and wisdom to Relate2Color.

Greginald and his wife, Wanda, have been married for 26 years, and they have an adult son.